Today’s Most Creative People: The Makers Of A Pen That Vibrates When You Make A Mistake

Daniel Kaesmacher and Falk Wolsky’s new Kickstarter project, Lernstift, is a Linux-powered pen that could help children learn to write and spell.

Today’s Most Creative People: The Makers Of A Pen That Vibrates When You Make A Mistake

The idea of a Linux-powered pen is new. But the idea of a pen that corrects users’ mistakes has been around for a while… and two German inventors, Daniel Kaesmacher and Falk Wolsky, are turning to Kickstarter to fund their version. Lernstift is a pen that vibrates whenever a user makes a spelling error; the Linux-fueled pen uses motion sensors, a small embedded chip, and Wi-Fi capabilities to recognize both spelling errors and sloppy penmanship. The motion sensor, which includes a gyroscope and an accelerometer, processes spelling recognition in 40 different languages. The finished product, which is expected to hit shelves in 2014, will primarily be marketed to children.

Kaesmacher said via email that “one of the main challenges of fitting a stand-alone computer inside a pen for kids are the dimensions, of course.”

There’s a minimum width, defined by the processor: The PCB will be about 1.5 cm wide. Fortunately, we are able to make the PCB of our computer oval which literally ‘narrows down’ the width of the pen’s body. The complete inner construction is being developed as we speak with the help of an extremely experienced company when it comes to manufacturing pens. This process will also include finding the ideal way to ‘mount’ the computer inside the plastic housing as well as developing a solid socket for the battery and the LED button.

Lernsift requires a nearby computer or tablet; when the pen is used, it sends data in real time to the nearby computer for processing. The product also comes with an open API that will let developers create new applications. A smart pen? We’ve seen some before, but turning a pen and paper into Internet appliances–that is new.

Every year, Fast Company names its 100 Most Creative People, highlighting the global leaders in tech, design, media, music, movies, marketing, television, sports, and more. Kaesmacher, Wolsky, and other thought leaders will be considered for 2014’s list.

[Image: Kickstarter]

About the author

Based in sunny Los Angeles, Neal Ungerleider covers science and technology for Fast Company. He also works as a consultant, writes books, and does other things.



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